Thursday, December 26, 2013

Things to Say

With another year rapidly approaching, I was thinking back over the 900 blogs I’ve posted over the years. You'd think I'd run out of things to say, but it hasn't happened yet and isn't likely to happen any time soon. At least I hope not. I do admit, however, to there being times when coming up with something new is a little difficult, like trying to select one grain of sand out of a sandbox for the purpose of talking about it.

I've written enough blogs to fill a good-sized book—and have, indeed published an e-book and audiobook of them (Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs), but realize there is a considerable difference between quantity and quality. Most of my blogs start out as top-of-the-head thoughts, and don't get too terribly much more organized from that point on.  

I’m sure you’ve seen the delightful went-viral-a-couple-of-years-ago video of a baby girl, probably a little over a year old, in a car seat in the back of her parents' car. She is babbling on at an amazing pace, and at considerable length, with great of passion and sincerity as though she was speaking fluently in a foreign language. The very look on her face gave assurance that she was indeed discoursing on very profound matters, and fully expected her listeners to understand her every word.

I feel like that often. I babble on with passion and sincerity and become so entranced with the sound of my own voice (as it were) that I am convinced I'm actually saying something worth listening to. 

Oddly, however, when I'm in a group of people, even among my friends, I don't have all that much to say...aloud. But my mind never stops churning, running from one thing to the next, which is probably one of the problems. It's rather like looking up a word in the dictionary. I'll start looking for it, and my eye will be caught by one of the words around it, or within the definition of that word will be a word I wonder about, and so I'll go there, and that definition may also have a word in or around it that I wonder about, and so on. Putting down a dictionary once I've opened it takes a lot of willpower—of which I have very little to begin with.

One of the problems I have is almost never not having anything to write about, but trying to snatch  one snowflake of thought out of the blizzard of thoughts constantly swirling around me, or trying to catch a greased pig at the county fair. I currently have at least a dozen blogs I've begun, gotten one or two sentences or paragraphs into before been distracted by another thought. And of course there are times when I think I have something to say about a certain subject and then find out that no, I don't, really.

I’m occasionally bothered by the fact that I tend to dwell more on negative subjects than positive, but it's on the same principle as to why bad news always makes the headlines: we are, to our credit, programmed to accept the good as the norm. Day-to-day, garden variety good news seldom makes the headlines, and yet it is as much a wonder as earthquakes and scandals and other bad things which seem to overwhelm us. We do not understand why people behave so badly, and therefore we talk more about it than the good things we take for granted. Babies and puppies and kittens are delightful, but they're like many sweet things; they're best written about in small doses—say a paragraph or two. An entire blog about goodness can be a like a bit eating too much divinity fudge.

I do tend to have certain themes I keep returning to perhaps more than I should: my various frustrations, a few fingernails-on-the-blackboard irritations—internet spam, people who take physical, financial, or emotional advantage of others; the incredible gullibility of far, far too many people; bigotry, intolerance, insensitivity, anyone presuming to tell others how to think (especially those loathsome non-humans who feel they have the right to speak for God), blatant stupidity, egregious illogic, those who refuse to listen to or even consider anyone's opinion but their own; proselytizers, bottom-liners, bottom-feeders—all negatives, I’m sorry to say.

But I really do like kittens and puppies and babies of all species, and of random acts of kindness and civility. I just don't talk about them nearly as much as I should. Maybe next year?

Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday and Thursday. Please take a moment to visit his website ( and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs (, which is also available as an audiobook (

1 comment:

Kage Alan said...

Perhaps I should take a cue from you and we could police each other next year writing once a week about something we like and that's positive.